Classic NES platformer DuckTales will be making its return to modern consoles, thanks to Capcom and Contra 4 developer WayForward Technologies.
I’m a cynical old man, and as a result there are very few developers whose games I will always buy sight unseen. Blizzard Entertainment and Platinum Games are the first two names on this list, and easily the most notable, but the third is the far less prominent, but no less talented WayForward Technologies. For evidence, you need look no further than this recent article I penned on a Kickstarter project created by former WayForward employees in an effort to get their latest game development project off the ground – That’s not even technically a WayForward game, but the company’s efforts to date (Contra 4, Shinobi and the Shantae franchise immediately jump to mind) are so good that I can’t help but be massively excited for anything even tangentially associated with WayForward Technologies.
That’s one reason why today’s announcement from Capcom is such big news. The other is that the publisher is finally reviving one of its best platforming titles from the NES era: DuckTales.
Based on the cartoon of the same name, the original NES title focused on Scrooge McDuck’s globe-hopping efforts to collect as much treasure as possible. See, Uncle Scrooge is a very wealthy duck, but he’s also very greedy. That said, he’s also intensely devoted to his family, or at least his nephews Huey, Dewey and Louie. His brother Donald is an idiot, but Scrooge tolerates his stupidity because, well, that’s just what you do for family members.
Despite being a licensed videogame, the original DuckTales features some of the tightest controls and clever level design found on the NES – a console utterly riddled with platforming games. Plus, DuckTales has arguably the finest music ever created in a videogame. Listen to the theme from the game’s Moon stage and see if it doesn’t become indelibly stuck in your brain.
Information from Capcom on this title is currently scarce. It was only revealed a few moments ago at the ongoing PAX East conference, but the company was kind enough to pass along a reveal trailer, which you can find embedded above. Most of it serves as a promotional effort, quoting industry figures like Cliff Bleszinski as to why DuckTales is such a seminal release, but it also offers our first glimpse at the new version’s graphics (which handily capture the aesthetic of its original cartoon source material). Further it demonstrates that many of the tropes found in the NES classic will be present in its new incarnation, including the inexplicably-placed ice cream cones and those stupid undead duck skeletons that scared the ‘eff out of my 7-year-old self. Unfortunately, we don’t have a specific release date or price point for the game, but the end of the trailer indicates that it will come available this summer for basically every modern console platform in existence. Now would be a good time to run, screaming, around your house, waking up any sleepy pets just so you can explain to them in vain how pumped you are for all of this. My cat didn’t much appreciate it, but I think he’ll come around.